They could learn something
I have just one thought about this kerfuffle over British hacker Gary McKinnon finding his way into some (supposedly) ultra-secure US Government systems… don’t put the guy in jail. Instead the US Government should fly him over the pond first class and grill him on how he did it. That way they can learn about how to make the systems more secure. And then they should give him a job working in the UFO lab that we saw in Independence Day.
Of course, regular watchers of 1980s movies will already know how easy hacking is. Watching Beverly Hills Cop II we learn that even in the late 80s you could have accessed any computer from any other computer, as Eddie Murphy demonstrates when he pops into Gilbert Gottfried’s office and accesses the Police HQ system. In Weird Science we learn that to hack into a secure government system all you had to do was type in ‘override’. Unfortunately that doesn’t work any more as security experts removed all override back-doors after the movie was released on VHS. The new back-door is ‘pa55w0rd’ – this is what McKinnon used, but if the US Government interview him and discover this, they’ll change it to something like ‘l4tme1n’.
…works for Microsoft as a Global Account Technology Strategist. In a former life he worked for the Lotus brand within IBM for many years. Married with one daughter and two dogs, lives in Camberley (Surrey, England), plays the guitar to a mediocre standard, and runs 10 kms and half marathons at an average speed. That’s it really.